Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday January 6th 2019
Isis has four Christmas presents.
Ji. buys her a pack of delicious Caesar meals. We’re sure she’ll be delighted with these.
She is. Every single pea disappears from her bowl in an instant.Yum! Yum!
The big orange squeaky comes from Wilkinsons. I’m very pleased to come across it as I’ve been looking for a squeaky toy which will last. Isis never destroys her toys: they just wear out, the squeaky ones particularly quickly. She’ll squeeze them passionately for forty minutes or so. And then they die.
I decide to give her the toy before Christmas. It’s a long time since I’ve bought her anything to play with, and she has two more presents left.
I offer it to her first in the front room. She flinches away from it.
I put it on the rug and wait for her to ‘discover’ it. She twirls around on the rug, but every time a paw comes in contact with the toy, she withdraws the paw immediately and moves away.
She sits down close to it but when she feels it touching a strand of her hair, she twitches and moves away.
I expect she’ll get used to it in time.
Two, three, four weeks pass. She continues to be affronted by my generous gift.
On Monday I get up late. I have an appointment in two hours, so, rather than cut Hairy One’s walk time short, I take her into the lane behind the house.
Now, Isis always likes something to play with in the lane. It used to be sticks which stuck to the roof of her mouth when she snapped them, but now she’s a grown up dog, she eschews sticks. Fortunately.
Usually she plays with one of her snakes, but sneaky Human just wonders whether, if there’s nothing else to play with, she just might ……….
I put the orange squeaky toy on the grass It’s a long time since she’s been in the lane and for the first fifteen minutes or so she runs around exploring. Then she begins hunting for something to play with. There’s nothing around except for a few soggy twigs. She picks one up but drops it again. She sniffs round the bushes and in the undergrowth. Even the brambles she likes to tug at are dead.
I watch as she picks up the scent of the toy, finds it, sniffs it, then leaves it where it is and hops off to dance in a small muddy patch – incidentally, the only mud in the lane.
She approaches the toy six times. Each time she hunts, picks up its scent, sniffs it and retreats. She really, really, wants something to play with.
It’s now approach number seven. She sniffs it again. Then she shifts her position slightly and sniffs it from a different angle. She circles the toy, sniffing it carefully from every angle.
Will she? Won’t she?
Yeay! At last, she opens her reluctant little jaws wide enough to take it between her teeth. Tentatively, though, and she doesn’t lift it.
she lifts from the grass, and, grasping it firmly, runs back to her mud patch with it, and back to the grass. To and fro she runs, joyfully squeaking.
Finally, she settles.
Yes, she’s definitely decided it’s hers.
One down and two to go, then.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk